STAGE 8, SUNDAY 25TH MAY,
NEWBRIDGE – SKERRIES 130 KMS.
NEWBRIDGE, Milltown, Allen, Kilmeague, Prosperous, Kilcock, Warrenstowm, Drumree, Dunshaughlin, Rathoath, Curragha, Pluckhimin Category 3 KOM, Garristown, Naul, Balrothery, Cross of the Cage Category 3 KOM, Skerries, Black Hills Category 3 KOM, Skerries, Black Hills Category 3 KOM, SKERRIES.
That leaves just one more day, but the complexities of stage eight provides opportunity for a change in the yellow jersey. Running 130 kilometres from Newbridge to Skerries, the early kilometres head through Prosperous, Kilcock (30.4km), Dunshaughlin, Rathoath and on to the category three climb of Pluckhimin (75.1km). After Naul and Balrothery the riders will hit the category three Cross of the Cage climb (94.4), racing onto the Skerries finishing circuit almost immediately after the top.
If the past two years are anything to go by, massive crowds will line the streets in the seafront town, generating plenty of atmosphere and encouragement. The riders will whip past them and begin the first of two 13.8 kilometre laps, fighting it out on the category three Black Hills each time. The last ascent of the climb is nine kilometres from the finish and from there to the line the speed will be manic. Much is at stake, and every second may well count